The sister of Foreign Affairs Minister Kevin Rudd has quit the Labor Party over its change of platform in favour of same-sex marriage.
Loree Rudd had threatened to quit the ALP earlier in the year if it voted for marriage equality at this month’s National Conference.
The Nambour-based elder sister of the former prime minister this week said same-sex marriage should be put to a referendum.
“Any government honest with its people would take this matter to a referendum after a couple of years of open debate,” she told the Sunshine Coast Daily.
“It is not an easy issue and shouldn’t be swept through in a night sitting. It shouldn’t be swept through at a Labor conference when the party has committed to the electorate it will support marriage as it is.”
In July, Rudd accused ALP members of being brainwashed after four state Labor conferences endorsed changes to the Marriage Act to allow same-sex marriage under federal law, and said there was a “global gay gestapo” that fed propaganda to lobby for marriage equality.
Rudd’s comments were condemned by same-sex marriage campaigners, the NSW Jewish Board of Deputies, the national Jewish Anti-Defamation Commission, and Holocaust survivor Frederick Weisinger.
She stood by religious-based discrimination this week, claiming Jesus was “misrepresented”.
“The whole concept of equality comes from the Bible, from the sacred scriptures. All people are equal before God, but not all relationships,” she said.
“If [gay marriage] happens in Australia, it won’t affect my life at all, but it would be a tragic loss for our society.
“If the benefit was that homosexual couples knew more joy, it would be worth the trade-off. But I don’t think they will experience more joy.”
Rudd said she had also sent Queensland state Independent MP Peter Wellington a letter expressing her views on same-sex civil unions.
Wellington slammed Christian lobby group the Australian Family Association during debate over Queensland’s civil unions Bill last month for threatening to campaign against MPs who support civil unions.
Rudd said she was sad he felt “harassed or intimidated by Christians”.